I haven’t decided yet if I’ll be able to make it, although I am still hopeful! With the decision being up in the air, I still need to at least prep some of my most promising prospects just in case. I’m still not sure which ones those will be yet, but I must start thinking about it!
Have you ever gone to a violet show before? If you live in a rural area like we did in Arkansas, I feel your pain. African violet shows are magnificent, even the small local shows with limited entries. If you’ve never been to one before, check out AVSA’s website (avsa.org) for upcoming events and find one you can get to. Every violet grower should, at some point in the life of their hobby, have the chance to see spectacular show plants, even if you’re not interested in showing them yourself.
I have a lot in bloom right now, and I’m enjoying the color. Soon, though, all those flowers will be coming right off. Why do I do that, you might ask? The main reason is because I want my plants to put all their energy into making great foliage. Not only do I need lots of healthy green leaves to pluck when you place your order, but a plant is much easier to get into show form (symmetry-wise) without flowers sapping its energy. That leads me to the other reason why I take off flowers: show prep. When preparing plants for a show, it’s important to time the bloom properly. By disbudding and removing flowers and then stopping at a certain time, we can usually predict – with varying degrees of accuracy – when that plant will be in full bloom. And we sincerely hope that it’s during show time!
If you’ve ever had to remove flowers or buds on your violets, you may have noticed that the next time it came into bloom, it blew your socks off. It’s my theory that a violet can store energy meant for flowers while using alternative energy for foliage. But, I am NO scientist, so I’m sure I will be corrected. Either way, a violet will bloom with a vengeance when it is disbudded for any length of time. Try it!